Amazon Student is a game-changer for college students who are looking to glean the benefits of Amazon without having to pay the high yearly fee that comes with Amazon Prime. Amazon Student costs $59 per year, a 50% discount from the normal Amazon Prime fee (which is $119/yr).
Amazon Student has roots from back in 2010 when the e-commerce giant realized that it had a lot of students who were looking to find an affordable means of purchasing textbooks, downloading and streaming music and movies and other college-centric items. Amazon Student requires you to currently be a student in any of the nation’s universities in order to qualify. You just have to have a .edu email address to qualify.
It is almost prime time for buying textbooks, since school is going to be starting in a month or so. When looking for the best deals for Back to College, make sure you check out Amazon Student.
What is Amazon Student?
Amazon Student is a great incentive from Amazon for college students. It gives you:
- Unlimited FREE 2-Day Shipping on textbooks and millions of other items
- No minimum order size
- Upgrades to 1-Day shipping for only $3.99
- Email alerts on exclusive deals
What Other Perks Does It Offer?
Amazon Student also offers one of my favorite perks:
- Free release date delivery on video games, DVDs, and books. This means that you can make sure that you get your copy on the day it comes out! No waiting or worrying the item will sell out at your local store, or placing an order and having it sit in backorder while all your friends start playing.
- Unlimited access to Prime Photos, a service that lets you store all your photos in Cloud Drive for extra safety and easy access. You get to store an unlimited amount of photos, as well as get 5 GB to store some documents that don’t count as images.
Think of Amazon Student as a discounted version of Amazon Prime (which it actually is – you are just a Amazon Student member for 6 months, after which you upgrade to the discounted version of Amazon Prime). Instead of paying the usual $119/annually with Amazon Prime, you get a 50% discount to $59/annually.
6 Months Free Trial Period
If you’re not sure and don’t want to commit to the service, feel free to sign up for a free trial which lasts 6 months.
The free trial period comes with a few caveats that you should be aware of though. For instance, you may not be able to stream music or borrow books for your Kindle devices during these 6 months. That being said, you’ll be able to qualify for the 2-day shipping feature as well as discounts on selected items. If you sign up as a student, you’ll be able to lock in the current Amazon Prime price until you graduate, as long as you’re an active student.
You will need to have a valid .edu address from your university to sign up. If you attend a community college or migrated to a common email provider like Gmail, you might want to approach someone in administration and ask them if you could get an .edu address or provide you with alternative verification that you can then email Amazon to confirm your active student status.
A student can sign up without a .edu address by sending an email to email@example.com with the following information:
- Your transcript or class list with your name, your university’s name and the current term on it
- Your tuition bill with your name, your university’s name and the current term on it
- An official acceptance letter for the upcoming term (must include matriculation date)
If you already have an Amazon account, you can go ahead and register for Amazon Student from within your account using your current address. However, you will need to verify your account once you’ve signed up with an .edu account.
How To Sign Up For Amazon Student
It’s very easy to sign up. Just go to: Amazon Student Homepage and sign up with your .edu email address. If you already have an Amazon account, login, and then follow the prompts to verify that you’re a student.
When Amazon Prime Is Better
Amazon Student is a clear winner for those of you who are on a tight budget while in college, since it lasts for 4 years from the time of your registration to your graduation.
If you’d rather just get Amazon Prime regardless of your student status, there are certain things you should be aware of before clicking on the Sign Up button. To begin with, Prime is charged on a recurring yearly basis of $99 at the time of writing this post.
The major benefits of Amazon Prime beyond Amazon Student include:
- Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s premiere video streaming service.
- Amazon Mom, which is for busy mothers who are looking for the best deals for their families. You can opt to sign up for a free 30-day trial to get a feel of how it works, and some of the benefits you’ll get during this one-month period include 20% off diapers if you use the Subscribe and Save option, free two-day shipping, a free Kindle title for the month, access to Prime Photos, music and movies, and Prime Early Access which shows you the best deals 30 minutes earlier than other Amazon members.
- Prime Pantry, which lets you enjoy the best prices on essentials as well as an affordable delivery fee of just $5.99 for each pantry box delivered. Prime Pantry boxes are large and can hold up to 4 cubic feet of household products or items that add up to 45 pounds in weight.
Who Should Get Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime membership is ideal for those of us who are regular shoppers on the site, since you get to qualify for numerous discounts as well as speedy shipping. In addition, you’re able to bundle everything you need in one place, from your shopping to your entertainment needs. Please note that Amazon offers free shipping for orders that are below $35 and it usually offers Prime Day once a year (currently July 15) which beats the deals you would normally get on Black Friday, available exclusively to Prime members.
Final Word On Amazon Student vs. Amazon Prime
If you’re a student, you’re better off going with Amazon Student. For the rest of us, Amazon Prime is an incredibly useful and cost-effective service in the long run, especially if you’re a regular shopper on Amazon.
Photo Credit: leungchopan
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.